Thursday, September 7, 2017

Somewhere In The Dynamo (poem) by Larry Nicholson

I remember the hemispheres of your body
your pale skin and always those mercenary eyes

your delicate form and tiny perfect feet took you
searching, searching by firelight of the heart
to villages everywhere to find dream-readers,
time after time,
after time, looking for meaning to a dream you said you once had...
until finally the last elder on the block
gave you the meaning you preferred -
the one you decided your dream was really about
its called making a decision
its called healing – I’m not sure you understood that

down here, the sound of factories moaning
where I live, the smell of mills and a rendering plant
and a picture of you in my head that will not fade
your memory etched in me
and some days I think, just maybe, my name tattooed on your heart, still
down here, I confront all the maddening truth I can stand

I hear my heart pounding like the rumble of distant thunder
in my mind, there we are, starry-eyed and laughing
caught inside our own comet-like dynamo that is the city
with the fields, rivers and woods inside us and the stars above,  
somehow in vapor-trailed nights between us
you could almost know the true size and shape of the Universe
a heave and wondrous tumble going down -
places tempted, circled - swept across mine with yours
the deepest secrets only our bodies know

now, all this time later, I sometimes see life as a terminal condition...
being apart from you a hard winter
a false clock chimes down where everything's wounded
to disgrace, distract and bother me

but if I'm honest, I remember you clearly
trying to keep some type of darkness at bay, loving like that
and me despising that man in the looking glass for scrounging for that kind of love
since then and maybe always I travel among vacant-eyed believers,
all of us road-weary types, keepers of some brand of faith or another
I make company with ham-fisted ex-cons,
sitting in men's circles with those tough sons-of-bitches
raised in numbers like armies from the orphanages - exiled from tribes everywhere
who'd rather fight like madman woodcutters before the sweat
the sweat to grant them redemption -
a little perspiration, a little 'I am so sorry' and a little 'wah-hey-ya-oh!'
to somehow absolve a lifetime of felonious heart crime and violence
this is what we have become if not what we always were

We are the tempest on a human-scale
cast-offs of lost people who must surely have carried powerful magic
to be able to summon such sound and fury
we rend and cleave and tear to bits our best selves
in full view of those who try to love us -
daring them to take on our misery
like those woodcutters amassing even more tissue
upon the scars we've carried our whole lives
we'd already gone the distance just to get here

And I confront the specter of promises not kept
trying to decide what was real, what the truth is now,
almost certain the whole thing will have changed by tomorrow
all this the aftermath of one seismic love affair

I still strive to keep a-busy being born not a-busy dying
I am at home with road men and the a-little-bit-bewildered
who all trudge the same road to happy destiny

If you listen carefully, I mean really listen and watch, you may see it
my unbroken devotion - my love still falling
washing yours and my earth like soft rain over misty Salish banks,
still believing in good medicine and the power to visit others in dreams
whispered words coming to you at night
some semblance of a truth that makes sense only to us -
that you may come to me on some tender amnesia-filled night
where there is only blushing, the flushed surface of skin
and nothing else between us

©2017 Champsteen Publishing

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